Islam in Asia

Islam in Asia

Islam began in Asia in the 7th century during the life of Muhammad. The greatest number of adherents of Islam has lived in Asia since the beginning of Islamic history.

Medieval times


Islam began on the Arabian peninsula by Muhammad (Sallahu Aalaihi Waalaihi Wassalam) in the 7th century. Since then it began spreading rapidly. Till his death (in 632), Muhammad (Sallahu Aalaihi Waalaihi Wassalam) managed to unite the whole of the Arabian peninsula into one country with Islam as the official religion.

Islamic Golden Age

Some time after the death of Muhammad (Sallahu Aalaihi Waalaihi Wassalam), the Islamic Golden Age started (approx. 750). It lasted till about 1258. This period witnessed the lives of many great Muslim scientists and physicians such as Al-Kindi or Ibn Sina. It was also the time of the development of Islamic philosophy. Many influential Muslim thinkers lived at that time. The most notable examples are: Al-Kindi ("father" of Islamic philosophy), Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali and the last one Ibn Rushd. At that time Islamic art also developed greatly.


Today, most Muslims live in Asia, although many of them exist in other parts of the world. The majority of notable Muslim religious leaders are based in Asia. Asian countries with high Muslim populations or high percentages of Muslim people, in comparison to the rest of the country, include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Yemen.

One of the important 20th century figures that developed Islam was Muhammad Iqbal - a philosopher. Another important Asian Muslim was Abdullah Yusuf Ali, an Indian Muslim from Mumbai who translated the Qur'an to English.

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